In the event that people feel that Charlie Sykes criticism of Russ Feingold's use of NFL footage in his ad is partisan hyperbole, it is not.
Those who know me may have heard me say that I think much of Intellectual Property Law is facism. But, in my capacity as General Counsel of a moderately sized multi-national corporation, I was faced - at least once and maybe more often - with questions of whether our marketing people could grab small bits of NFL video in marketing pieces - including one in which we had hired a former NFL player to promote one of our products and wanted to show the guy scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Our IP guy told us - quite correctly - that we couldn't do that. He explained to me that it wasn't even a close question. He showed me that the law was clear and noted the NFL's well known vigilance in protecting its property rights. I didn't like it, but I accepted it.
It really is hard to see this as an honest mistake. Ad agencies and campaigns are lousy with lawyers and no lawyer or agency in business for more than a week and a half would have failed to recognize this issue.
When you combine this with Feingold's creepy attempt to make one of his ads look like a news broadcast, this campaign seems to be in need of some ethical guidance.